The White House Office of National AIDS Policy (ONAP) has released an updated five-year National HIV/AIDS Strategy for the United States. The strategy sets the following context for the state of the HIV/AIDS in the U.S. in 2015:
- There is still an HIV epidemic and it remains a major health issue for the United States.
- Most people can live long, healthy lives with HIV if they are diagnosed and get treatment.
- For a variety of reasons, certain populations bear a disproportionate burden of HIV.
- People across the Nation deserve access to tools and education to prevent HIV transmission.
- Every person diagnosed with HIV deserves immediate access to treatment and care that is non- stigmatizing, competent, and responsive to the needs of the diverse populations impacted by HIV.
The updated strategy has four goals:
- Reduce new HIV infections by intensifying HIV prevention efforts in the communities where HIV is most heavily concentrated; expanding efforts to prevent HIV infection by using a combination of effective, evidence-based approaches; and educating all Americans with easily accessible, scientifically accurate information about HIV risks, prevention, and transmission
- Increase access to care and improve health outcomes for people living with HIV by establishing seamless systems to link people to care immediately after diagnosis, and support retention in care to achieve viral suppression that can maximize the benefits of early treatment and reduce transmission risk; taking deliberate steps to increase the capacity of systems as well as the number and diversity of available providers of clinical care and related services for people living with HIV; and supporting comprehensive, patient-centered care for people living with HIV, including addressing HIV-related co-occurring conditions and challenges meeting basic needs, such as housing
- Reduce HIV-related disparities and health inequities by reducing HIV-related disparities in communities at high risk for HIV infection; adopting structural approaches to reduce HIV infections and improve health outcomes in high-risk communities; and reduce stigma and eliminate discrimination associated with HIV status and services
- Achieve a more coordinated national response to the HIV epidemic by increasing the coordination of HIV programs across the Federal government, and between Federal agencies and state, territorial, tribal, and local governments; and developing improved mechanisms to monitor and report on progress toward achieving national goals.
To achieve these goals, the strategy focuses on the following priorities for the next five years:
- Widespread testing and linkage to care, enabling people living with HIV to access treatment early.
- Broad support for people living with HIV to remain engaged in comprehensive care, including support for treatment adherence.
- Universal viral suppression among people living with HIV.
- Full access to comprehensive PrEP services for those whom it is appropriate and desired, with supper for medication adherence for those using PrEP.
This strategy updates the prior strategy issued in 2010 and reflects the work accomplished and the new scientific developments, and charts a course for collective action across the Federal government and all sectors of society. The objectives and recommendations of both the HIV Care Continuum Initiative and the Federal Interagency Working Group on the Intersection of HIV/AIDS, Violence against Women and Girls, and Gender-Related Health Disparities are incorporated into the updated strategy. For example, among the indicators used, there are specific objectives to reduce disparities in the rate of new diagnoses by at least 15 percent in the following groups: gay and bisexual men, young Black gay and bisexual men, Black females, and persons living in the Southern United States.